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9.5 35 10
FanFix April 15, 2015 27542
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"Every good story deserves a little embellishment” – Gandalf to Bilbo.
Well unfortunately, Peter Jackson ran with this idea and did some very extensive embellishment with the Hobbit movie series. I believe that was a key focus of this edit (and most to be found here) - to remove that embellishment, the unnecessary (and generally silly, over-the-top) scenes, of which there are many. I know the movies quite well and noted countless cuts throughout, but the actual editing was seamless and would not be noticed by a first time watcher. I took some notes/thoughts throughout the viewing, which I will share here:
--Intro and dwarf visit – I didn’t miss the dinner scene and cleanup. All the good elements of character building and storyline kept intact.
--Excellent jump from trolls to Rivendell, I didn’t miss any of the wolf/sled chase scenes.
--Goblin cave scenes trimmed well. Happy to see that the Bilbo/Gollum scene was edited very little. It is one of the best scenes of the movie series.
--The council at Rivendell has always been a hot topic of debate. Spence took a good route here, removed the full council scene, but Gandalf still meets with Galadriel. I like that scene, and as much of a purist as I am, I don’t mind embellishments that involve female characters. Particularly if great actresses are playing them. Is it a little strange that she’s suddenly gone at the end of the scene – maybe, but Galadriel could be compared to a demi-goddess, ancient and full of magic, including one of the three elven rings of power. It’s not hard to imagine she has the power to project herself, or teleport. Gandalf has another one of the rings, so maybe they allow for teleportation between them.
--Best cut I’ve seen for dwarves reaching Erebor, jump right to Thorin putting key in the keyhole and opening the door. I didn’t miss any of the stupidness with dwarves pounding weapons on the rock, and walking away whining.
--The later scene with Galadriel/Elrond/Saruman taking on the Nine and Sauron is a keeper. Many don’t like it, and heck yeah it’s a major embellishment, but I like seeing the big dogs in action, particularly Galadriel. The movies need some feminine bad-assness.
--Battle of Five Armies trimmed nicely.

Further changes that I believe could improve this edit :
--A major peeve of mine is the troll scene: the trolls get a hold of Bilbo and threaten to pull his arms off, and the dwarves do it. How does this make any sense?! They basically give themselves all up to be eaten just to avoid seeing Bilbo get dismembered! I have seen only one edit (Menbailee) where this was changed - the scene jumps from the trolls chasing the dwarves and Bilbo around to them all captured. Unfortunately it was not accomplished very smoothly – but I’ve found I would rather have that than watch a stupid scene.
--Goblin caves: the slide down into the caves is too long. Also, the shot of Gandalf slicing through a goblin’s neck then tapping the head off body does not really fit with his character. This is the guy who lectures Bilbo about how serious it is to take a life.
--After they escape the goblin caves they suddenly have ponies again. Way too obvious. This is due to the complete removal of Beorn scenes, but this has to be explained somehow or changed. I’d like to see at least a brief Beorn visit, maybe just have Gandalf mention him then cut to him pouring them milk. Mix in the scene of him as a bear somewhere.
--Out of the frying pan completely removed – again it would be nice to have a little bit of this, particularly because the scene with them riding eagles is way cool in my book. Have eagles drop them off and then jump to them at Beorn’s place maybe?
--Bilbo suddenly having the keys to the jail cells was strange, might be worth keeping a bit of the lifting of keys off drunk elf.
--I have to admit I missed Tauriel. I’d like to see her retained in more scenes, maybe just enough to try to make her look like Legolas’ girlfriend.
--Suggest talking with Rangerkris about using his Sauron/Maia flash clip at Dol Guldor. It’s a very cool touch.
--Giant rock delving worms necessary? I say no.
Regardless of the suggestions above, this was an excellent and enjoyable edit. It was wonderful to watch the entire story straight through without changing a disc. The fat was trimmed, mainly scenes that my 10 & 12 year old always say was their favorite part. Without all the fluff and nonsense it becomes a movie about Bilbo, as it should be. Martin Freeman did such an outstanding acting job, and it shines through. There are many well written and moving scenes to be found, and Spence did a heck of a job assembling them.

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